I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works. . . . Psalm 139:14
I grew up outside the city limits where my favorite farmyard pets were Bantams. So when my husband Lawrence and I visited the New York State Fair one hot summer afternoon, he said, "I know you like to hang out with chickens, so wait for me here in the poultry building while I find us sodas and sandwiches."
"Fine," I answered. I'd just spotted a demure little hen whose every row of black-edged feathers was in place, and I couldn't wait to stick my fingers through the cage wires and caress her beneath her beak. "Pawk, pawk," I said to her.
"Pawk, pawk," Biddy answered back
Biddy and I were both pawk-pawking up a storm while I idly wondered if, on Noah's Ark, Mrs. Noah had had a favorite pet and, if so, perhaps it had been a Bantamthe long-ago predecessor of this very hen. Suddenly I became aware that a wide-eyed boy, five or six years old, and his mother, eyebrow raised, were taking it all in. Good grief, what they must be thinking! People talk to dogs, horses, flowers. But to a chicken?
To cover my fluster, I said to the boy, "Bet you don't know where a chicken's ears are."
"Aw, chickens don't have ears."
"Sure they do. How else can they hear?"
Mother and son gave their full attention as I gently pulled back a tiny round tuft of feathers an inch behind each of Biddy's eyes. "These hinged-at-one-side trapdoors cover her ear canals."
Just as they left, Lawrence returned, lunch in hand. He laughed as he told me, "Too bad you're not around more often to teach kids important thingslike where a chicken's ears are."
Father, the more I see of Your wondrous works, the more I realize how "fearfully and wonderfully" You've made everything in this universe.